Proteomic approach to analyze dormancy breaking of tree seeds

Tomasz Andrzej Pawłowski
Plant Molecular Biology 2010, 73 (1-2): 15-25
In forest broadleaves from the temperate zone, a large number of species exhibit seed dormancy phenomena. Tree seeds show some of the most pronounced and complicated forms of dormancy in the plant kingdom. Many seeds are deeply physiologically dormant whatever their moisture level and age. However, dormancy can usually be overcome by a cold or warm stratification for several months. The transition from seed dormancy to germination is a multi-step process. In combination with the availability of genome sequence data, proteomics has opened up enormous possibilities for identifying the total set of expressed proteins as well as expression changes during dormancy breaking. The proteomic approach used for analysis of dormancy breaking of tree seeds offers new data allowing better understanding of the mechanism of deep physiological dormancy. The results of proteomic studies on dormancy breaking and the presence of abscisic and gibberellic acids in tree seeds (beech Fagus sylvatica L., Norway maple Acer platanoides L. and sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus L.), help to explain this process better. Most of the changes in protein expression were observed at the end of stratification and in the germinated seeds. This is the most active period of dormancy breaking when seeds pass from the quiescent state to germination. The analysis of the proteins' function showed that the mechanism of seed dormancy breaking involves many processes. Energy metabolism, proteasome, transcription, protein synthesis, signal transduction and methionine metabolism proteins have a special importance.

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